Samadhi is the final aspect, or "limb," of the spiritual Ashtanga yoga practice. The sage, Patanjali, outlined these "limbs" as follows:
- Yama (ethical living)
- Niyama (healthy living)
- Asana (the meditative sitting posture, or the more physical yoga poses)
- Pranayama (awareness of one's breath)
- Pratyahara (withdrawing one's mind from the senses)
- Dharana (deep concentration)
- Dhyana (deep meditation)
- Samadhi (enlightenment)
The final three "limbs" are often studied together and are collectively referred to as the antaratma sadhana, or "innermost quest."
A yoga practitioner achieves a meditative state by concentrating on both their physical being and their rhythm of breath. In this case, the meditative state is not a thinking or evaluating state; instead, it is a state where singleness of thought is the ultimate goal. It is only through this singleness of thought that one can achieve enlightenment, which is samadhi, or the state at which one becomes purely aware of the sanctity of one's self and the world surrounding.